Ask Wendy

How Do I Deal with Relatives at the Holidays?

Friday, December 23, 2016
How Can I Keep Political Fighting Out of My Relationships?
Hey Wendy,

My sister-in-law has hated me from the start (4 years) because of a misunderstanding that took place when I was dating my husband. She acknowledges that it was a misunderstanding but she’s still horrible to me. She does petty things whenever she can.

A few days ago I overheard her say "Ever since he married that fucking bitch....." My husband heard it as well and he went crazy on her, and said she was dead to him.

Here’s the problem: we always have a family Christmas at his mother's house. Sister-in-law called my husband and apologized. He told her she needs to apologize to me, not him. He asked her why she is so hateful to me and she admitted she really has no reason, she just doesn't like me.

So, the two of them made up, Christmas dinner is on and my husband just wants everyone to get along. I have ZERO interest in spending Christmas with someone who hates me and calls me names.

Teresa T. — Billings, MT

Hey Teresa,

So where’s your apology? Even if she does eventually apologize to you, it doesn’t sound like it would come with any amount of sincerity. I sympathize with your plight. Personally, I wouldn’t go, but I can be an asshole like that. For sure, let your husband know that “everyone getting along” is a delusional fantasy, not a reality. I’m sure there are families out there who all sing carols and sip cocoa by the fire in perfect harmony, but that ain’t ever gonna happen with a sister like that.

Next, see how important it is for him to spend time with his fam on Christmas, hateful sister included. If nothing says Christmas like that for your man, then decide if you’re willing to take one for the team and make a deal with him. What kind of a deal? Maybe instead of dinner, you could spend 25 minutes socializing over Christmas eggnog with his family, and in exchange for that 25 minutes, he can go down on you for an hour.

Or, you two can divide and conquer. Maybe he drives you and your best pal to a showing of Office Christmas Party, buys the tickets, popcorn, and Milk Duds, and then pops off to visit them for a couple of hours. When family time’s over, he can come back to pick you guys up.

Whatever you decide to do, a whole meal and subsequent evening with the Grinch incarnate does not sound like a Merry Christmas to me.

May peace be with you!



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